Hunger and poverty create a vicious cycle: hungry adults are literally too weak to work or look for work; hungry children are too tired to absorb the learning that might lift them out of their wretched circumstances. And hunger is so cruel – it returns again and again.
In this programme containers are converted into community soup kitchens in extremely poor and impoverished areas.
One of the best things about my job is meeting inspiring people even in the most challenging surroundings. Just the other day, I visited a very poor community in Manenberg, a part of Cape Town that is a byword for extreme poverty, gangs and drugs.
I was honoured to be greeted by a warm gathering of hundreds of children, men and women, all working to uplift their community. Amongst them was Isaac de Jong, an enthusiastic young man determined to make a difference.
The son of a labourer, Isaac often went to bed hungry. Even then, he dreamed of a world where no child goes to bed on an empty tummy. He sincerely believes that providing children with a daily meal will help keep them from the social ills affecting their neighbourhood.
Together with other community workers and a few pots and pans, Isaac has been running an informal soup kitchen for over ten years, an amazing effort. I’ve seen heroic people trying to run soup kitchens out of leaky shacks and fire-hazard wooden huts, but in this case, Isaac and his team have absolutely no premises whatsoever!
They cook the food in their own homes, paying for the ingredients out of their own pockets, then haul their pots and trestle tables to a piece of waste ground where over 300 hungry children await what is often their only square meal of the day. What’s more, they do this come rain or shine three times a week!
And that’s not all – as well as providing meals for the little ones, Isaac runs life-skills workshops for their parents to help them with the challenges of parenting and finding employment.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this brave man and his colleagues desperately need a secure central kitchen where he and his team can cook and serve meals. One of our sturdy converted container kitchens would be perfect for the needs of this struggling community. Plus it will be able to double up as a training centre – so everybody wins!
Please help us to help him and the community that greeted me with such hope and warmth? It would be wonderful to bring them good news.
To make a donation please click here.
For more information on other container soup kitchens please click on the images below.
Blue Downs Container